Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste

March 3, 2016
An easy recipe for making jerk seasoning paste. A combination of aromatic spices to give your food a classic jerk taste.

A quick and easy recipe for making Jamaican jerk seasoning in the form of a paste.
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Jerk is the quintessential Jamaican spice. Once you hear the term "jerk" anything you know it's coming from or inspired by this very popular Jamaican spice.

It is a blend of aromatic spices that can be used to not only season chicken, seafood, pork or beef, but can also be used to contribute additional flavors to other dishes. I use in my coconut milk pasta. I also sometimes throw a spoon or so into my stews like stewed chicken and oxtails.

Jerked meat is amazing. It is especially more amazing when the meat is cooked on an outside grill. The meat slowly turning confined in that case and the spices smoking out is beyond delicious.
Nothing beats some good old jerk chicken out the barrel with some bammy or coco bread.

I initially started buying the store-brand seasonings by Grace Foods, but most of them were either too salty or too hot for me, even if I chose the mild ones.

If you want to make a good jerk marinade at home, this simple recipe is for you.

I especially like to add a bit to my barbecues like I did in this bbq chicken. A little jerk to the sauce gives it a nice additional flavor.

Jerk Paste or jerk dry rub?

I am sure you see many recipes for jerk seasoning in the form of a loose powder. It's more like a rub than a paste.

A dry rub or dry seasoning is a mixture of spices in powder form. The paste is a more liquid-like version using oil to make it into a smooth paste.

This may be a personal preference but I prefer to use a paste rather than powder. I think it adheres to the meat better than the rub and that it has a stronger flavor. You also use less paste than rub.

And please don't confuse the paste or rub with what may be called sauce. Most times the sauce version is more like a bbq sauce so that is used while the meat is cooking, or to be used as a dipping sauce.

A quick and easy recipe for making Jamaican jerk seasoning in the form of a paste.

What flavors constitute Jamaican jerk?

As I mentioned earlier, this marinade is made up of spices that will give you that classic jerk taste. You must get some fresh ingredients for the spice blend to ensure you get a great quality blend of spices.

Peppers - scotch bonnet pepper is the Jamaican hot pepper. If push comes to shove you can use whatever hot pepper you have. Trinidad pepper, bird pepper, or habanero pepper are other examples. You can also use a milder pepper but make sure it has a lot of flavor.

Pimento seeds - or also called allspice berries. This is another Jamaican strong spice. It's like having clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon all in one bite. If you cannot find allspice anywhere, you can substitute it with just cloves
Fresh Thyme
Scallions - also called green onion or spring onion

Then your regular kitchen staples

Oil - I use olive oil
Garlic cloves
Vinegar - I would use white vinegar here only. The other variations would give it a different taste
Black pepper
Brown Sugar

Everything is then thrown in your blender and blended finely.

If you have a spice grinder, you can add all of the top spices to the grinder and grind them together, then add the spice blend to a bowl with the remaining paste ingredients and mix.

Tips and Tricks

This recipe is a good base for your seasoning. It is very easy for you to adjust the flavors that you prefer more and eliminate those things that you do not like. Especially as it relates to the level of heat

I am always more concerned about the amount of heat I would be getting. That's why I love making my own so that I can control the level a little better.

A quick and easy recipe for making Jamaican jerk seasoning in the form of a paste.

If you are using extremely hot peppers but don't want the paste to be too hot, remove the seeds from the peppers when cutting them up. The seeds and the membrane of the pepper have the most heat.

I may use the seeds of one of the peppers because you definitely do need a kick of heat in there.

Please note. If you are going to deseed these peppers, get some gloves on your hands. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR GLOVES. And don't even think about forgetting you are dealing with peppers and go rub your eyes. You will end up wanting to dig your eyes out.

Once you're able to clean up the peppers, then you just need to throw everything into your blender or food processor and grind away.

If after blending you find that the mix is a bit clumpy, you can add some tablespoons olive oil to the mixture till you get a consistency you like.

Clean up

The downside of making this is the pungent smell in your kitchen. It's almost like making pepper sauce. I've had a few coughs mixing this up and getting that strong scent.

And let me give you a little chef hint or word of advice. You will need to clean your mixer immediately. Dishwashing liquid and a little vinegar help to eliminate the scent.

Also, don't turn the container down to dry. The more air that gets to pass through the container, the easier it is to get rid of the smell and any residue pepper.

Best way to store

Once this is mixed up, you can safely store it in an air-tight container. I use a mason jar to store most of my homemade mixes like my green seasoning and pepper sauce.

It has a tight lid. And the mouth is also wide and easy for me to scoop out when needed.

I put it into my fridge at least one hour after I've made it. It can last in your fridge up to six months.

Always use a clean spoon to take some out. A dirty spoon can contaminate the paste and ruin the whole thing.

Now all you need to do is take a tablespoon or so or more if you choose or whatever your recipe calls for and get your jerk on.

A quick and easy recipe for making Jamaican jerk seasoning in the form of a paste.

Even better if you are about to hop onto your grill.

Whatever you make be sure to pair it with some hard dough bread or festival, and possibly a red stripe beer.

Are you a jerk seasoning fan?

If you say yes, you better be on Team Paste!!!

Now that you have your paste, here are some dishes you can use them in:

My rasta pasta. It's a reader favorite on the blog.
Jerk shrimp tacos - spicy and sweet all mixed up together
These delicious pulled jerk chicken sandwiches

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste
Jerk Seasoning
Yield: 12
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste

A quick and easy recipe for making Jamaican jerk seasoning in the form of a paste
Prep time: 10 MinTotal time: 10 Min



  1. Add all ingredients to blender
  2. Blend till combined.
  3. If needed, add oil to mixture to get better consistency
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge
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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.